With new cards and partnerships AMD bets big on virtual reality


AMD is preparing to go all in one virtual reality, by having trailed behind both Intel and Nvidia in the PC graphics market in recent years. AMD highlighted its VR play at the Game Developers Conference recently in San Francisco, announcing a comprehensive platform that the chipmaker clearly hopes will evolve into an ecosystem.

AMD claims that a new dual-GPU Radeon Pro Duo will be the hardware that powers future VR content creation, using its existing LiquidVR software development kit. That content will include experiences co-developed with Crysis and CryEngine creator Crytek, and provided to universities and businesses under Crytek’s VR First initiative. Finally, AMD claims that it powers 83 percent of the home entertainment VR systems used to actually experience that content, and announced a certification program to ensure that future devices meet its own standards.

This matters as the numbers tell you why AMD is betting heavily on VR. According to Jon Peddie Associates, AMD’s share of the overall graphics market slipped to 11.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015, versus 16.6 percent for Nvidia. (Intel, of course, dominates the remainder with its Core integrated processors.) In discrete graphics, AMD captured just 18.8 percent of the market during the fourth quarter, with Nvidia holding the remaining 78.8 percent.

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